Emerson self-reliance

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Academic Journals 

Thesis - Arguing through Emerson's reading of Blake's poetry that the meaning of Emersonian self-reliance alters.

Emerson was obviously infulenced by the English poet Blake. "it is with this English poet that we should begin to look for an understanding of what that 'authentic' American religion of Emersonian self-reliance really entails." (Elliott) According to Emerson, an individual's confidence in their own voice is what can make them self-reliant. An individual should be courageous enough to speak their 'latent conviction.' By doing so, Emerson suggests an individual's belief is made public and becomes part of the universal sense. Emerson also suggests that the universal sense relies on the individual to voice his/her belief. Emerson offers self-reliance as the unifying force for a divergent country, if the individual is strong enough to speak his/her 'latent conviction.' (This may only work as far as people agree, otherwise violence may ensue.)


Thesis - Ralph Waldo Emerson does not reign as philosopher-king of American white-race theory. What Emerson termed as His "Saxons" are not the same as white Americans or white people.

"Emerson makes is crystal clear that "Saxon" or later "Anglo-Saxon" is not the synonym for "white," even though the historiographical literature often seems to equate them." (Painter) Emerson believed to be American was to be Saxon. Excluded from that identity were native Indian, black, Asian Americans, and the nineteenth century Irish.

From both academic journals I have discovered more about Emerson and his way of thinking. When I look back at the Nature reading we did earlier this semester, I can see his self-reliance thinking in the chapters.


Works cited:

Elliott, Clare. "A Backward Glance O'er' the (Dis)United States: William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson and the 'Authentic American Religion." European Journal of American Culture 28.1 (2009):75-93. EBSCO. Web. 24 Oct. 2010.
Painter, Nell Irvin. "Ralph Waldo Emerson's Saxons." The Journal of American History. (2009): 977-985. EBSCO. Web;. 24 Oct. 2010.

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This page contains a single entry by ValerieSusa published on October 25, 2010 6:15 PM.

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